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Johnnie Walker leaves Drivetime

After seven years presenting the BBC Radio 2 drivetime show, Johnnie Walker is to step down from the daily programme at the end of March 2006.

Since taking over from John Dunn in 1999, Johnnie has added more than two million extra listeners, making it the most listened to drivetime show in the UK.

Johnnie Walker received an MBE for services to broadcasting at Buckingham Palace on Friday.

From April he will be concentrating on high profile rock interviews, a new Sunday programme and will continue on the Breakfast Show when Terry Wogan is on leave.

Johnnie said: “I’ve had a wonderful time presenting Drivetime and enjoyed it enormously. After seven years on one show I feel it’s time for a change.

“The new Sunday show will be give me the opportunity to present a programme with a spiritual angle, something I’ve been talking to Radio 2 about for over a year.

“And after getting such positive feedback for my Eric Clapton special last summer, I’m keen to do more interviews with the major names in rock, the first of which will be a special on The Eagles.”

Commenting on his decision, Lesley Douglas, Controller of Radio 2, said: “I’m delighted that Johnnie will continue to be a key presenter on Radio 2.

“He is one of the great radio talents and is loved by Radio 2 listeners.

“I understand his decision to have a less demanding schedule while taking on new challenges.”

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